Neighbourhood matters: implications of canopy structure on plant water-use strategies
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At: 18. Gumpensteiner Lysimetertagung ; Idrning : 21.5.2019 - 22.5.2019 ; In a future climate change scenario probabilities of drought periods in Alpine grasslands, which provide multiple ecosystem services (i.e. water provisioning and grassland productivity), will increase. To assess the reaction of Alpine grassland to drought conditions, two types of grassland seed mixtures (permanent meadow for dry and humid sites) were grown and investigated in a garden experiment at the long term socio-ecological research (LTSER) site ‘Stubai Valley’, Tyrol, Austria. Soil hydrology analyses were performed using high precision lysimeters (Smart Field lysimeters®, SFL, METER Group) and stomatal conductance of the main functional groups was measured during an extended drought period. Sharing a common environment and the same standardized soil, the two types of Alpine grassland showed different water-use strategies and productivity. Responses to drought revealed differences between grassland types, functional groups and even within functional groups present in both grassland types, although soil hydrology did not differ.